I just got back from a trip to Pennsylvania. While I was there, I hiked to a number of waterfalls in northeastern Pennsylvania. I visited Ricketts Glen State Park and several falls in the Delaware Water Gap. While the falls are not huge, they are very ornate and pretty. Many have incredible rock ledges or steps over which the water flows. I came away with a number of interesting compositions on the trip.
Ricketts Glen State Park
The Ganoga Glen of Ricketts Glen State Park has ten waterfalls that appear one after another in a short 1 mile stretch of creek. Then as you loop back up Glen Leigh, more waterfalls await. I think I counted sixteen waterfalls in the span off a 4.5 mile round-trip hike. This quickly became one of my favorite spots to see waterfalls in the U.S. The trail descends steeply from a parking area and you reach Mohawk Falls after a short hike. From there, waterfalls keep coming as you descend rock stair after rock stair. The tallest falls is just under 100 feet–Ganoga Falls. But even a small ten-foot drop makes for a good photograph in this beautiful park. I found Delaware Falls particularly photogenic with its tree-strewn cascades. Mohican Falls is also very photogenic because of a large tree that has fallen along side of it. The falls also reflects in the calm pool in front of it–a double bonus. After Tuscarora Falls, the waters of the two creeks converge and you cross a bridge to head up Glen Leigh. More waterfalls greet you as you climb back up to the parking lot. The nice feature about Ricketts Glen is that the falls are often shaded by trees so you can get good photographs even on a sunny day as I had for the hike.
Delaware Water Gap
The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation area contains several waterfalls along its many creeks that feed into the Delaware River. I visited three areas: Hornsbeck Creek, Dingman’s Falls, and Raymondskill Falls. All are located just off Highway 209 in ascending order as you head north.
I think the most interesting waterfall to photograph was along Hornsbeck Creek. The creek is located about 2 miles north of the Pocono Environmental Education Center off Emery Road. The trail follows the north side of the creek as it descends below the road. You come to the falls after about a half mile hike. A short but steep faint trail leads down to the base of the waterfall. It was a cool place to see but hard to photograph on a sunny day. Lots of contrast!
The parking lot and trail to Dingman’s Falls is located just a little farther north on 209. The trail first stops by the extremely thin but beautiful Silverthread Falls. It is long and narrow and somewhat hard to photograph but still worth a stop. The trail then winds around fro another half mile before reaching Dingman’s Falls. This falls is much bigger. A moderate wide angle or short telephoto would be ideal to photograph this waterfall as you can’t get right up to it.
Raymondskill Falls is the last of the trio of waterfalls along 209. It is allegedly the tallest falls in Pennsylvania but this is misleading. It has several different drops and the main falls is not that large in and of itself. It is still worth a stop and takes only a short hike along a loop trail to see the main falls.